Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has confirmed to Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, that Government is to review issues surrounding the level of fuel rebates currently available to Irish hauliers as part of efforts to address the rising cost of living.
The Tánaiste was responding in the Dáil to a request from Deputy Nolan that Irish fuel rebate levels are brought in line with those of other EU states, which in some instances are up to three times the rate available in Ireland.
Deputy Nolan also raised the need for Government to actively support the upgrading of the national haulage fleet to EURO 6 engines which have a dramatically increased capacity to reduce emissions.
She said: “I have been in continuous contact with the Irish Road Hauliers Association recently and they have made it clear to me that there is an urgent need to immediately revise the fuel rebate system,” Deputy Nolan said.
“For the last number of years, the rebate system here has been placing our hauliers at a serious competitive disadvantage.
“If the status quo is maintained that disadvantage will deepen significantly, especially as the Ukrainian crisis is likely to push up energy and transportation costs right across the board.
“I have repeatedly highlighted the fact that the National HGV Fleet, which is about 24,000 vehicles, do 86% of the movement of goods for the Irish economy.
“They travel over 5 million KMs per day and use over 1.5 million litres of fuel per day.
“This works out to nearly 500 litres per truck per week, which supports the statement that a hauliers arctic burns in a week what a house burns in a year in fuel oil.
“Given this level of fuel consumption, and the strategic importance of the haulage and transportation sector, it is absolutely critical that the rebate and the upgrading issues are acted on as soon as possible.”